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wreak havoc

To cause a lot of problems. Termites have wreaked havoc on the structural integrity of our house, unfortunately.
See also: havoc, wreak

wreak havoc (with something)

to cause a lot of trouble with something; to ruin or damage something. Your bad attitude will wreak havoc with my project. The rainy weather wreaked havoc with our picnic plans.
See also: havoc, wreak

wreak something (up)on someone or something

to cause damage, havoc, or destruction to someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) The storm wreaked destruction upon the little village. It wreaked much havoc on us.
See also: on, wreak

wreak vengeance (up)on someone or something

Cliché to seek and get revenge on someone by harming someone or something. The gangster wreaked his vengeance by destroying his rival's house. The general wanted to wreak vengeance on the opposing army for their recent successful attack.
See also: on, vengeance, wreak

play havoc

Also, raise or wreak havoc . Disrupt, damage, or destroy something, as in The wind played havoc with her hair, or The fire alarm raised havoc with the children, or The earthquake wrought havoc in the town. The noun havoc was once used as a command for invaders to begin looting and killing, but by the 1800s the term was being used for somewhat less aggressive activities. For a synonym, see play the devil with.
See also: havoc, play

play/wreak ˈhavoc with something

cause damage, destruction or disorder to something: The terrible storms wreaked havoc with electricity supplies, because so many power lines were down.
See also: havoc, play, something, wreak
References in periodicals archive ?
All have long believed that government, corporate, or international Zionist groups busily hatch secret plots and concoct hidden plans to wreak havoc on our lives.
Read below how steroids wreak havoc with brain and body.
A new class of XML-related threats, including XML Denial of Service attacks, can readily be launched to consume server CPU cycles and wreak havoc on mission-critical applications and business productivity.
The company's lasers are said to be particularly well suited for use in harsh environments that would normally wreak havoc with sensitive instrumentation, according to the literature.
Meet "Dewie the Turtle," the mascot for a plan put forth by the Federal Trade Commission to discourage kids from using their computers to wreak havoc and teach them to protect themselves from dangers in cyberspace.
Whether you were a dirt-disher or a dirt-eater, now's your chance to go back to the playground and wreak havoc.
It can make chronic problems like diabetes and arthritis pain worse and wreak havoc on emotional wellbeing and close relationships.
We cannot forget that Washington has spent millions in training, arming, and supporting the criminals who continue to wreak havoc on the Haitian people.
Starting an effective dry skin care routine in autumn can sidestep the disasters colder weather can wreak on the skin.
ISLAMABAD, September 02, 2010 (Balochistan Times): Ongoing flood devastations in Sindh province is underway as tehsil Khairpur Nathan Shah is being seen on rapid evacuation as fast roaring deluges are heading to wreak anticipated havoc in the area.
Nobody can argue that Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator and that many Iraqis were killed through his ruthless regime, but the majority of Iraqis were able to live a fairly normal life, until Bush and the poltroon Blair decided to invade the country and wreak havoc.
There, icy waters and subzero temperatures wreak havoc on commercial shipping for much of the year.
A tragedy occurred in the An Lo valley of Vietnam when teams of ten killers were sent into the jungle to wreak havoc among the Vietcong.
UV rays penetrate skin and wreak havoc on your cells' delicate chemistry--they can even damage your DNA (chemical blueprint for all life).
While Spamfire is not anti-virus software, it is an integral part of a complete defense against the kind of damage virus writers can wreak," said Michael Herrick, Matterform's president.